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Archive for the ‘Networked society’ Category

Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age

This book is an exploration of the new forms of social movements and protests that are erupting in the world today, from the Arab uprisings to the indignados movement in Spain, and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US. While these and similar social movements differ in many important ways, there is one thing they share in common: they are all interwoven inextricably with the creation of autonomous communication networks supported by the Internet and wireless communication.

In this timely and important book, Manuel Castells – the leading scholar of our contemporary networked society – examines the social, cultural and political roots of these new social movements, studies their innovative forms of self-organization, assesses the precise role of technology in the dynamics of the movements, suggests the reasons for the support they have found in large segments of society, and probes their capacity to induce political change by influencing people’s minds.

Based on original fieldwork by the author and his collaborators as well as secondary sources, this book provides a path-breaking analysis of the new forms of social movements and offers an analytical template for advancing the debates triggered by them concerning the new forms of social change and political democracy in the global network society.

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Leer tambiénRedes de indignación y esperanza : los movimientos sociales en la era de Internet

Written by learningchange

11/12/2013 at 11:17

The Autopoietic State: Communication and Democratic Potential in the Net

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The relationship between the practice of democracy and the use of new information technologies is dependent upon the technologies of communication and information, rules regarding the use of those technologies, and the nature of the entity making rules regarding those technologies. Since today developments in all three of these areas are turbulent, this article looks to social theory that deals with turbulence and chaos as a way of understanding the democratic potential in the qualitatively  different network society. The streams of literature drawn upon include second-order cybernetics and chaos theoryorganizational sociology, and the literature on the state. The concept of the autopoietic state is developed as a basis for determining appropriate communication policy principles for maximizing the democratic potential in the network environment.

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Written by learningchange

21/11/2012 at 11:13

Networked: The New Social Operating System

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Daily life is connected life, its rhythms driven by endless email pings and responses, the chimes and beeps of continually arriving text messages, tweets and retweets, Facebook updates, pictures and videos to post and discuss. Our perpetual connectedness gives us endless opportunities to be part of the give-and-take of networking.

Some worry that this new environment makes us isolated and lonely. But in Networked, Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman show how the large, loosely knit social circles of networked individuals expand opportunities for learning, problem solving, decision making, and personal interaction. The new social operating system of “networked individualism” liberates us from the restrictions of tightly knit groups; it also requires us to develop networking skills and strategies, work on maintaining ties, and balance multiple overlapping networks. Rainie and Wellman outline the”triple revolution” that has brought on this transformation: the rise of social networking, the capacity of the Internet to empower individuals, and the always-on connectivity of mobile devices. Drawing on extensive evidence, they examine how the move to networked individualism has expanded personal relationships beyond households and neighborhoods; transformed work into less hierarchical, more team-driven enterprises; encouraged individuals to create and share content; and changed the way people obtain information. Rainie and Wellman guide us through the challenges and opportunities of living in the evolving world of networked individuals.

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Written by learningchange

24/09/2012 at 12:16

The meaning of network culture

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Whereas in postmodernism, being was left in a free-floating fabric of emotional intensities, in contemporary culture the existence of the self is affirmed through the network. Kazys Varnelis discusses what this means for the democratic public sphere.

Not all at once but rather slowly, in fits and starts, a new societal condition is emerging: network culture. As digital computing matures and meshes with increasingly mobile networking technology, society is also changing, undergoing a cultural shift. Just as modernism and postmodernism served as crucial heuristic devices in their day, studying network culture as a historical phenomenon allows us to better understand broader sociocultural trends and structures, to give duration and temporality to our own, ahistorical time.

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Written by learningchange

17/02/2012 at 13:00

The Power of Networks: Knowledge in an age of infinite interconnectedness

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Manuel Lima, senior UX design lead at Microsoft Bing, explores the power of network visualisation to help navigate our complex modern world.

Listen to the full audio: http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2011/the-power-of-networks-knowledge­-in-an-age-of-infinite-interconnectedness

Written by learningchange

05/01/2012 at 18:57

Networked Society ‘On the Brink’

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In On The Brink we discuss the past, present and future of connectivity with a mix of people including David Rowan, chief editor of Wired UK; Caterina Fake, founder of Flickr; and Eric Wahlforss, the co-founder of Soundcloud. Each of the interviewees discusses the emerging opportunities being enabled by technology as we enter the Networked Society. Concepts such as borderless opportunities and creativity, new open business models, and today’s ‘dumb society’ are brought up and discussed.

Written by learningchange

12/11/2011 at 13:02

Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off in cyberspace

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Read also: The Youth Crisis – Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off everywhere

In February the Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason very succinctly laid out the radically different nature of recent popular uprisings across North Africa, the Middle East and Europe compared to earlier political movements, and the economic and sociological reasons behind it. This incisive blogpost rang true for many of those involved in those social movements, articulating, as it did, a new sentiment and new political priorities amongst those populations. The short article sketched out a more cohesive image which the media in general was missing, partly through structural failings, but largely because events were unfolding at speed and trying to drag the chaotic events into an understandable analysis was difficult.

Running alongside the (still unfolding) Arab Spring, informing and shaping and being shaped in turn by those events, was a developing online conflict with major similarities; young, optimistic graduates who saw societies in more generalised terms of “power”, highly networked, informal and decentralised decision making processes and a deep cynicism and mistrust of traditional power elites and political ideologies. In the last month especially we’ve seen a series of events and developments that are changing the game of cyber-war (and cyber-class-war).

Written by learningchange

11/06/2011 at 13:59

The Network Society: A Cross Cultural Perspective

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This volume explores the patterns and dynamics of the network society in its cultural and institutional diversity. By network society, we refer to the social structure that results from the interaction between social organization, social change, and a technological paradigm constituted around digital information and communication technologies. We start from a rejection of technological determinism, as technology cannot be considered independently of its social context. But we also emphasize the importance of technology as material culture by focusing on the specific social processes related to the emergence of this new technological paradigm. Thus, while several chapters focus on the social uses of the Internet, this is not a study of the Internet. Instead, observa- tion of the practices of the Internet is our entry point to understand the diffu- sion of networking as an organizational form and to examine the complex interaction between technology and society in our world. Using an historical parallel, the equivalent would be to study the diffusion and uses of the electri- cal engine and the electric grid to understand the development of industrial society.

What defines the collective research effort presented in this book is the conviction that the network society, while presenting some fundamental, common features in all contexts, takes very different forms depending on the cultural and institutional environments in which it evolves. We would like, as our contribution to the understanding of a world in the making, to break with the ethnocentrism of many visions of the network society (or information and knowledge society in another terminology), which often assimilate the rise of this society to the cultural and organizational unification of a globalized world, usually reproducing the social forms and values of the United States or Western Europe.

Written by learningchange

11/05/2011 at 20:35

The Interaction between Information and Communication Technologies and the Network Society – a process of historical change

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Societies evolve and are transformed through a complex interaction of cultural, economic, political, and technological factors. In any given society, the available range of technological processes becomes organised into technological paradigms around a nucleus that enhances the performance of each individual one. Informationalism is the technological paradigm that currently provides the basis for a new type of social structure known as the network society. This social structure consists of information networks that are driven by information technologies and has become the dominant form of social organisation at the present time. Informational development is the result of both cultural and technological innovation and the process of innovation itself essentially depends on the existence of free, high quality university and research institutions within the context of a free society. Under informationalism, freedom, science, and power all come together and are interrelated in a “virtuous circle”

Written by learningchange

11/05/2011 at 20:30

Communication power and counter power in the network society

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This article presents a set of grounded hypotheses on the interplay between communication and power relationships in the technological context that characterizes the network society. Based on a selected body of communication literature, and of a number of case studies and examples, it argues that the media have become the social space where power is decided. It shows the direct link between politics, media politics, the politics of scandal, and the crisis of political legitimacy in a global perspective. It also puts forward the notion that the development of interactive, horizontal networks of communication has induced the rise of a new form of communication, mass self-communication, over the Internet and wireless communication networks. Under these conditions, insurgent politics and social movements are able to intervene more decisively in the new communication space. However, corporate media and mainstream politics have also invested in this new communication space. As a result of these processes, mass media and horizontal communication networks are converging. The net outcome of this evolution is a historical shift of the public sphere from the institutional realm to the new communication space.

Written by learningchange

11/05/2011 at 20:20

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